Rich Text Format (RTF) is a file format that enables you to write a text file, save it on one operating system and then have the ability to open it on another. You cannot add images or objects - it is purely aimed at text. You can create a file using Microsoft Word in Windows, save it as an RTF file (it will have a .rtf file name suffix), and send it to someone who uses WordPerfect 6.0 on any version of Windows and they will be able to open the file and read it. Most people would have seen it when writing a 'wordpad rtf' file.
The RTF Specification uses the ANSI, PC-8, Macintosh, and IBM PC character sets. It defines control words and symbols that serve as common denominator formatting commands. When saving a file in the Rich Text Format, the file is processed by an RTF writer that converts the word processor's markup to the RTF language. When being read, the control words and symbols are processed by an RTF reader that converts the RTF language into formatting for the word processor that will display the document.
Doc (an abbreviation of document) is a file extension for word processing documents; it is associated mainly with Microsoft and their Microsoft Word application. Historically, it was used for documentation in plain-text format, particularly of programs or computer hardware, on a wide range of operating systems. Almost everyone would have used the doc file format, whenever you write a letter, do some work or generally write on your PC you will use the doc file format. It was in the 1990s that Microsoft chose the doc extension for their proprietary Microsoft Word processing formats. As PC technology has grown the original uses for the extension have become less important and have largely disappeared from the PC world.
Early versions of the doc file format contained mostly formatted text, however development of the format has allowed doc files to contain a wide variety of embedded objects such as charts and tables from other applications as well as media such as videos, images, sounds and diagrams. doc files can also contain mail merge information, which allows a word-processed template to be used in conjunction with a spreadsheet or database.
AbiWord Apple Pages AppleWorks KWord Microsoft Word StarOffice